While a widely reported topic, especially on the dangers of addiction, the realities of methamphetamine use in America are much more grim. An overwhelming number of Americans have reported using the drug, and specific areas in the country have high concentrations of meth use and manufacturing sites. Texas has seen an increase in meth use over recent years, which has led state officials and health experts alike to ponder the availability of the drug and the severity of its effects on users.
The Senior Research Scientist at the University of Texas at Austin released an article last year that weighed in on the state’s spike in meth use. After the ban of certain cold medicines between 2005 and 2006, there was a significant drop in meth production; however, in addition to the opioid epidemic sweeping across the nation, meth use has been on the rise. The use of an organic compound called phenyl-2-propanone has allowed Mexican drug cartels to reintroduce the drug, especially in areas across Texas. P2P also strengthens the potency of meth, in turn increasing the risk for addiction. The article also exposed another trend going hand-in-hand with increased meth use: that of sexually transmitted diseases. While many are left with more questions than answers, this trend shows that increased meth use in the area could encourage unprotected sex, as well.
In June, CNN focused on an incident in Texas that makes clear that the increase in meth use is nowhere near its end. Law enforcement seized almost $1 million worth of meth-laced candy from a Houston home where the owners had also manufactured meth. A neighbor reported a burglarly at the home, where police later discovered the 600 pounds of the drug. Even more jarring was the intention of the manufacturers; officials assert that they had planned on distributing and selling the candies to children and juveniles in the neighborhood. The bust may be the first of its kind in Harris County, but officials warn the public of future manufacturing trends in the state.